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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 06/21/2010

Weekend box office: Big win for 'Toy Story 3'

By Jen Chaney

You've got a friend -- and a box office winner -- in "Toy Story 3." (Pixar)

"Toy Story 3" not only won the weekend box office, the Woody-goes-to-daycare sequel marked a milestone for Pixar and helped boost the overall movie business for the second weekend in a row. Much kudos for Buzz Lightyear -- plus good news fo"The Karate Kid" and nothing but bad news for "Jonah Hex" -- follows.

It's no surprise that "Toy Story 3" a long-awaited installment in a beloved franchise, made by a studio that can do no wrong, landed in the top spot. But the fact that the movie made $109 million, making it Pixar's highest grossing launch ever, is a triumph that the people at CGI-animation headquarters are undoubtedly celebrating in their ultra-colorful, creativity-fostering pseudo-cubicles. Its success also meant that ticket revenues were up 29 percent over the same time period last year.

Families made up the majority of the "TS 3" audience. According to Box Office Mojo, they comprised 67 percent of theatergoers. But among the non-family demographic, forty percent were between the ages of 17 to 24, which indicates that the movie has appeal beyond the non-elementary-school crowd. And of course, the avalanche of positive reviews didn't hurt. Only three clearly hard-hearted souls -- the always outspoken Armand White of the New York Press, Cole Smithey and Jeremy Heilman of MovieMartyr.com -- gave an assessment deemed "rotten" by Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Karate Kid" may have gotten knocked back into second place, but the well-received remake still managed to break beyond the $100 million barrier over the weekend. It's now earned $106.2 million in North America, more than the original movie, if one doesn't adjust for inflation. Paint the fence with that, Daniel-san.

There isn't anything nice that can be said about "Jonah Hex." The comic book movie with a facially deformed Josh Brolin debuted in eighth place with a tally of $5 million. Even the luscious Megan Fox didn't lure in the customers.

On the indie side of things, "Cyrus" -- made by the Duplass brothers ("Baghead") and starring John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill -- had a strong showing in its small-scale debut. It made a little more than $180,000, an achievement when one considers that it was only playing in four theaters. That amounts to a per-screen average of $45,075, significantly more than the $27,061 per-screen number logged by "Toy Story 3." "Cyrus" will expand to more cities this weekend, including Washington, D.C.

It seems pretty likely that "Toy Story 3" will hang on to that No. 1 spot in the weekend ahead. That is, unless Tom Cruise's "Knight and Day" or "Grown Ups" -- starring a good portion of the SNL cast circa 1992 -- can pose a serous threat. Think either of those has a chance at defeating Barbie, Ken and Buzz Lightyear? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

By Jen Chaney  | June 21, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Box Office, Movies, Summer Movies  
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Comments

Pixar, especially the Toy Story franchise, equals win. I don't think anything can knock it off the top spot. Even childfree 30somethings like me love it. Pixar has an amazing way of making a family-friendly movie that appeals to adults. They operate on multiple levels. You just can't beat that, not with a comic book movie or a star showcase.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | June 21, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I mean to say "anything but time can knock it off the top spot." Eventually, of course, most everyone who wanted to see it in the theatre will have seen it....

Posted by: DCCubefarm | June 21, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the Power of Woody.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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